WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 20, 2023
TOPIC: FREEDOM FROM THE FEAR OF DEATH
BY T. O. BANSO
“On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, ‘Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.’ And He said to them, ‘Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’ Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem” (Luke 13:31-33 New King James Version).
The fear of death has kept many people in bondage. Some people live daily in the fear that some people, real or imaginary, could kill them. The fear of human beings who could kill them or the fear of sudden death has prevented some people from living the kind of life God wants them to live. But God does not want His children to live in fear of man or anything, including death. The only fear He wants us to have is reverential fear of Him. According to Oswald Chambers, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”
2 Timothy 1:7 says God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind. As a child of God, you should live your life unafraid of death. That doesn’t mean that you should be careless or reckless with your life.
In Luke 13, the Bible shows us how Jesus wasn’t afraid of Herod killing Him when the Pharisees warned Him. “On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, ‘Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.’ And He said to them, ‘Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’ Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem” (Luke 13:31-33 New King James Version).
It is unlikely that the warning of the Pharisees to Jesus was out of good intentions because they were also plotting to kill Him. They never showed Him any love to have wanted Him to continue to live and not die.
The Bible does not say whether or not Herod sent these Pharisees. But they probably wanted to scare him so that He would flee Herod’s jurisdiction. But Jesus wasn’t afraid of Herod Antipas twho had beheaded John the Baptist (Matthew 14:3-12). Herod Antipas’ father, Herod the Great, had tried to kill Jesus as a child but was unsuccessful (Matthew 2:16-18). Jesus was not afraid of the warning that Herod would kill him. Herod was later part of the conspiracy that led to the death of Jesus (Luke 23:7-12).
Jesus called Herod a fox, meaning he was cunning or crafty. He refused to abandon His ministry in that region because of Herod. He was determined to go to Jerusalem, which had a history of rejecting the prophets of God.
Don’t allow the fear of death to stop you from fulfilling God’s purpose for your life. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28-31, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (New King James Version).
God does not want you to fear that anyone can kill you. If not one sparrow can fall to the ground without God’s will, not to talk of you who have more value than many sparrows. A sparrow during the time of Jesus was written each was being sold for a copper coin. Your value is far greater because God created you in His image. Don’t fear that someone will kill you; don’t fear death.
The book of Luke also records these words of Jesus on the need not to fear those who can kill only the body. “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:4-7 New King James Version).
Don’t be afraid that someone will kill you or of death. The fear of death does not stop death from coming when it will come. Some people have more faith in the enemy to kill them than they have in God to protect them! They fear death and speak about it as if their enemies are omnipotent. They have died many times in their imaginations.
A child of God is not at the mercy of his enemies. He should not let the fear of man or death paralyze him. The worst man can do is kill but God can kill and take to hell the deserving souls. So don’t fear man; don’t fear death. God is committed to protecting His children. Fear them not which kill the body and after that can do no more.
Paul says in Romans 14:8-9, “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (New King James Version).
The writer of Hebrews says that through His death, Jesus destroyed him who had the power of death (the devil), and released those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:14-15). Jesus, having disarmed principalities and powers, made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:15). Satan no longer has the power of death over the children of God.
Because Jesus died and was resurrected on the third day, the children of God, unlike the sinners, would be resurrected unto eternal life after they die and sinners unto eternal punishment (Matthew 25:46). Jesus has destroyed him that had the power of death. For Christians, death is the pathway to eternal life. Jesus Christ abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10b).
1 Corinthians 15:53-55 says, “For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality. When this corruptible body is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, death, is your victory? Where, death, is your sting?” (Christian Standard Bible).
In Acts 21, when the people pleaded with Paul not to go to Jerusalem because of the prophecy about his arrest there, he answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (verse 13 New International Version). When Paul could not be dissuaded, the people gave up and said that the will of the Lord be done. Paul wasn’t afraid of death so he could fulfil his ministry.
Death is not the end of life. There is life after death – eternity with God or the devil. Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body, and can do more than that. But fear Him who, after He has killed, has the power to cast into hell. After death, a child of God has the hope of eternal life but he should not sentence himself to premature death by his words or engage in other self-destructive habits. Proverbs 18:21 says death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Others may fear death but don’t fear it. Do not fear what they fear; do not live in dread (Isaiah 8:12b). Say with the psalmist, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD” (Psalm 118:17 New King James Version). Let words be in your mouth: “With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation” (Psalm 91:16 New King James Version).
Be free from the fear of death by giving your life to Jesus, feeding on the Word of God, and meditating and speaking/confessing it. If you are born twice – born naturally and born again spiritually – you will only die once and be resurrected to spend eternity with God. “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25 New King James Version). But if you are born only once, born naturally, you will die twice – die naturally and die by being eternally separated from the life of God. Those who die as sinners shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not be paralyzed by the fear of death. The fear of death shall not keep me from fulfilling God’s purpose for my life. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. God will satisfy me with long life and show me His salvation. I am free from the fear of death in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947